Legal status of Ottoman non-muslims in Bosnia (1463-1699) : a case study
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Since their emergence Islamic states included great number of nonMuslim subjects. The manner in which the Islamic states regulated the position of non-Muslims is the central topic of the thesis. The Ottoman Empire was yet another Islamic state with large number of non-Muslim subjects, but its legal system was somewhat different from that of its predecessors. In addition to Islamic law, legislation of the Empire was based on the ‘örfî law that was enacted by the sultan in order to serve pragmatic needs of the state. Correlation between the şerî‘at and the sultanic law, and their influence on the status of non-Muslims, will be examined on the example of the fetvâs as legal documents issued by the müftîs and şeyhülislâms as representatives of the Islamic law, and the kânûns and kânûnnâmes as legal acts of the administration. The legislation of the state was generally guided by political considerations, which sometimes might have been beneficial for non-Muslims, or, conversely, it might have deteriorated their status. On the other hand, the şerî‘at kept non-Muslims in somewhat underprivileged status, but it was guaranteeing their basic rights. The area under study is restricted to the territory of the province of Bosnia, with occasional references to the adjacent regions. Border character of Bosnia and often wars inevitably influenced the society in general. Depending on circumstances, the position of Bosnian non-Muslims oscillated, sometimes above and other times below the prescriptions of the şerî‘at.